Tanegashima, Japan

Welcome to Tanegashima (種子島), Japan, a small island located off the coast of the main island of Kyushu, Japan. Tanegashima WAS one of the best kept secrets in Japan....even mainland Japanese residents had little or no knowledge of this beautiful place. Much has changed over the last few years though, with the ongoing construction of a military base on neighboring Mageshima. This has created division among the Tanegashima locals, with some favoring the construction, while others voicing strong opposition to the military presence. Updates about the construction will be added to this page when relevant.

Even with the military controversy, Tanegashima is still a fantastic place, with a collection of beautiful beaches like Hamada Beach (picture), fascinating caves, and a very diverse flora and fauna. The locals call the island "surfer's paradise", thanks to fantastic waves much of the year. The island is also the home of the Tanegashima Space Center, the site of several JAXA (The Japan Space Agency) rocket launches each year.

For those of you who are considering coming here for vacation, or maybe even thinking about moving to the island, there are a few things you should know. This is a very local community that is deeply rooted in culture and tradition. There is a high value placed on morality and a group ethic. Combine this with the advanced technology of JAXA, and the constant influx of city folks from other areas of Japan, and you get quite an eclectic and diverse group of people living together and trying to work things out. That said, you should be aware that underlying this beautiful island, is a place and population trying to survive and move forward. There are problems, both large and small, all of which will be discussed on these pages. If you have questions about Tanegashima, please feel free to contact me via my Facebook account. You are also welcome to check out my personal blog which has tons of pictures of the island. Looking forward to meeting you all. Until then.

Howie Hayman and Family....long time Tanegashima residents
Tanegashima is an elongated island (kinda looks like a peanut) stretching 57.2 km (35.54 mi) from north to south. The island is divided into three sections: Nishinoomote City to the north, Nakatane Town in the middle, and Minimitane Town to the south. We lived in Minamitane from 2014-2017 and Nakatane from 2018 to the present. While we loved living in Minamitane, our stay in Nakatane had problems from the beginning and continue even today, mainly due to the lack of good local leadership and the lack of rule enforcement. The ongoing issues will be discussed here and can also be found on my personal blog. Along with owning our home, we also own a 4.5 acre forested mountain in Nishinoomote. We know a lot about Minimitane and Nakatane, but are still learning about Nishinoomote. If you plan to visit or move to Tanegashima, I highly recommend staying in Minimitane which has a very small hometown feeling and very friendly people. Nishinoomote is a typical small city in Japan and has good and bad points like any city. Nakatane is definitely not recommended due to the following issues including, but not limited to: Noise Pollution, Trash Burning, Beach Trash, and Feral Cats, with the latter three soon to be written about in detail.

Tanegashima Communities
A little bit about the three communities, Nishinoomote City, Nakatane Town, and Minamitane Town.

Nishinoomote City
The only city on Tanegashima, which makes up the northern one third of the island.

Nakatane Town
A small town which makes up the middle one third of the island.

Minamitane Town
A small town which makes up the southern one third of the island.

コミュニティ - 中種子
Noise Pollution
Nakatane Town abuse, misuse, and overuse of the Disaster Prevention Radio System. -
中種子町 防災行政無線の悪用・誤用・過剰使用について。

コミュニティ - 中種子
Air Pollution
Nakatane Town air pollution from trash burning with no enforcement of regulations.

コミュニティ - 中種子
Beach Pollution
Nakatane Town beach pollution garbage and debris with no trash removal plans.

コミュニティ - 中種子
Feral Cats
Nakatane Town feral cat problem with no population control programs plans policies measures.

Tanegashima Services
Tanegashima services along with Nishinoomote City, Nakatane Town, and Minamitane Town.

Nishinoomote Services
A bank, post offices, and gas stations located in Nishinoomote are listed.

Nakatane Services
A bank, post offices, and gas stations located in Nakatane are listed.

Minamitane Services
Post offices and gas stations located in Minamitane are listed.

Tanegashima Transportation
How to get to, and get around, Tanegashima. The information is a bit dated but useful.

Tanegashima Hotels
A guide to a few of the more popular hotels on the island. Call for room availability.

Tanegashima Shopping
From recycle shops to 100 yen stores, you can find pretty much everything you need.

Tanegashima Restaurants
Enjoy a plate of expensive sushi or some delicious okonomiyaki....Tanegashima has it all.

Tanegashima Climate
Information about the variable Tanegashima climate.

Tanegashima Astronomy
Real time maps of the Tanegashima night sky for beginner, intermediate, and advanced star gazers.

Tanegashima Geography
An overview of some of the geographic features of the island.

Tanegashima Geology
The geologic history of the island and an explanation of the predominant formations.
Maenohama Seaside Park and beach
Tanegashima Beaches
A page in the works about Tanegashima beaches.

Tanegashima Oceans
A bit of information about the oceans affecting the island.

Tanegashima Rivers
Another page in the works listing most of the Tanegashima rivers.
Sunset behind Yakushima
Tanegashima Views
Tanegashima has some of the most beautiful views in the world.
The Destruction of an Island
An ongoing account of the destruction and conversion of our neighbor island to a U.S. military base. The construction of the new military base on Mageshima began on January 12, 2023. Now 2024, and due to numerous delays, the Japanese government is planning to employ over 6,000 workers, all of whom are being housed in small containers houses throughout Tanegashima.

The impact of the situation on this island has been dramatic, and has divided the community. Those who are for the base, are benefiting financially from the construction, while those against the base are expressing concerns over the environment and future noise pollution issues. For an up to date account of the base construction on Mageshima, please visit my blog at MageshimaJapan.com.